Inflammation - Exercise or Calories?

Inflammation - Exercise or Calories?

Inflammation occurs when your body is out of balance. With the lifestyles we lead, that is likely true for most of us. One reason for our bodies to be inflamed is our lifestyle. Excessive calories, excessive weight, and a sedentary lifestyle. 

So if you have inflammation, should you exercise or restrict your calories? 

No, it is not a trick question. Both, if used well, can significantly reduce your inflammation. The question is, which one should you use? 

The question was actually put to the test. There are three markers considered to be indicative of inflammation. IL-6, TNF-α, and the more commonly used CRP.

Researchers would examine which of the two options, exercise or calorie restriction, affected these markers more.

Before I reveal the answer, let me explain how the two could affect inflammation. 

Excessive calorie consumption is usually associated with an unhealthy lifestyle. Try eating a kilogramme of snowpeas. Excessive calories are therefore likely to also be nutritionally deficient.

So the combined effect would be to increase your stored fat while leaving you deficient. Your body is now dealing with the effects of deficiencies - low immunity, for example, and the inflammatory effects of excess fat. 

Lowering your calories while also switching to a more nutritionally complete meal would help.

Exercise helps promote improved blood flow. Improved blood flow acts like a cleansing mechanism, ridding your body of dead, toxic cells. Exercise improves the flow of blood to your bones, which makes bone marrow and stem cells. 

Exercise releases IL-6 from contracting muscles into your blood. Without making it sound complicated, the process creates a cascade of actions, ultimately shutting down inflammation. Not to mention, exercise, when done well, consumes calories. 

So which one should you choose? 

If you had to choose one, pick calorie restriction. If you could, pick both exercise and calorie restriction. 

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